Stocks fail to March on; Auto sales swivel; Best Buy shareholders get rewarded

Wall Street is sounding more like a lamb this morning after March came in like a lion.

Stocks are backing away from record highs after the Nasdaq (^IXIC) reclaimed the 5,000 mark for the first time in 15-years and the Dow (^DJI) and S&P 500 (^GSPC) climbed to new highs on Monday.

Yahoo Finance Senior Columnist Michael Santoli says investors should be paying closer attention to what is happening in Europe.

The freezing weather kept some buyers from auto showrooms in February. 

Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) and General Motors (GM) reporting weaker-than-expected U.S. sales, while Ford (F) reported a drop in sales last month.

From automakers to auto parts…AutoZone (AZO) posting stronger-than-expected earnings and revenue. Sales jumped 7.5% from a year earlier thanks to strong same-store sales growth as inventories rose and the company opened new stores. Shares of AutoZone are higher on the news.

Related: Best Buy & AutoZone race ahead; Nutrisystem fattens up

Best Buy (BBY) is rewarding its shareholders with a $ 1 billion dollar stock buyback over the next three years.  The consumer electronics retailer is also raising its dividend by 21% to 23 cents a share and issuing a special dividend of 51 cents a share. This comes as Best Buy  posted better-than-expected earnings per share but revenue slightly missed forecasts during the holiday quarter.  

“For investors I think it’s an ok story right now (Best Buy), the question is…is there really growth for the company down the road, especially when you have deflation in things like big screen TVs,” Santoli points out.

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Nutrisystem (NTRI) share are soaring in early trading.  The weight loss management company reporting a beat on both its top and bottom lines, with revenue rising more than 13% from a year earlier.

A deal in the banking space…Citigroup (C) is selling its consumer finance unit OneMain to subprime lender Springleaf Holdings (LEAF) for nearly $ 4.3 billion in cash. The deal will help Citi pay down its debt and boost its earnings by a billion dollars. The move is also part of Citi’s plan to shed unwanted assets and shift its focus to wealthier clients.  Shares of Springleaf are way up on the news.

Target (TGT) is freshening things up in the food aisle to take aim at millennials. The retailer is reportedly planning to expand its offerings in areas such as craft beer, granola, and yogurt. The Wall Street Journal reports that Target will move away from packaged and processed foods.

Related: Target revamps groceries for millennials

And China is giving Hollywood a run for its money. For the first time China beat the U.S. in monthly box office sales, bringing in $ 650 million dollars for the month of February.

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